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EDA Funding Matches Previously Granted ARC Funding That Will Be Used To Increase Corning’s Internet Connection Redundancy & Resilience

Last Month, Schumer Called For $1.5M To Bring High-Speed Internet To Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Yates, Tompkins, & Tioga Counties; Senators Deliver For Southern Tier

Schumer, Gillibrand: This Critical Project Will Get Communities Online And Ensure Fast, Reliable Internet Service For The Southern Tier

After Schumer called for additional funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) last month to match an award from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand today announced that the EDA has agreed to invest the full amount Schumer called for, totaling $1,552,593, which will be used to revitalize the Southern Tier Network, Inc. (STN) in Corning’s high speed network that spans six New York counties, namely Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Yates, Tompkins, and Tioga. The EDA contribution provided the final piece of funding needed to begin a project that will provide long-term economic growth, support business development, and create new jobs throughout the region. The project is estimated to cost $3,881,484 in total.

“I fought for this funding because in today’s modern economy, access to reliable, fast internet service is crucial to a community’s success,” said Senator Schumer. “This project will deliver improved, more reliable internet services that the Southern Tier needs and deserves. I am proud to have secured this federal funding that will help to close the far-too-large digital divide in communities throughout our state.”

“Access to reliable, high-speed internet is a necessity in the 21st century economy and too often our rural communities, like those in the Southern Tier, are cut off from critical services and economic opportunities that come with reliable internet,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding is essential to closing the digital divide and I’m proud to fight to ensure all of New York’s communities have access to this vital resource.”

Funding from the EDA and ARC will help to ensure high-speed internet access that can withstand an outage. This project is in response to a December 2018 car accident that knocked out a telephone pole and resulted in a wide-spread internet outage across the region. Specifically, the funding will increase the network’s redundancy and resilience, allowing data to travel along different routes to maintain internet access even in the event of a localized service outage, and improving critical internet service for new and existing businesses, education and healthcare facilities, and emergency services.

In 2019, STN applied to the EDA’s Public Works grant program for funding to construct a high capacity fiber optic capable in order to strengthen its 500+ mile optical network. The proposed regional build will improve high-speed internet access for most of the Southern Tier of New York. As part of their network, STN serves local businesses, governments, schools, and hospitals, serving a vital role in the daily lives of many Upstate New York communities. Today’s funding from the EDA ensures fast, reliable internet service for those communities.

A copy of Schumer’s letter sent last month to the EDA calling for the funding, appears below.

Dear Secretary Ross:

I am pleased to write in support of Southern Tier Network, Inc.'s (STN) application to the United States Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Public Works grant program for funding to construct high capacity fiber optic cable in order to create a redundant and diverse pathway within its 500+ mile optical network.

With funding, STN proposes a regional build, which will improve their high speed network in six New York counties, including Steuben, Schuler, Chemung, Yates, Tompkins and Tioga. The additional fiber optic pathways are essential to strengthening the integrity of the STN high-speed broadband network and ensuring that local businesses, government, schools and hospitals retain fast and reliable internet service. These diverse routes are strategically planned to provide “ring redundancy,” mitigating future service outages.

I applaud Southern Tier Network, Inc. for their foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Coordinator in my Washington, DC office at 202-224-6542.